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Josh Duggar faces child pornography charges

Josh Duggar Associated Press/Washington County Arkansas Jail

Josh Duggar faces child pornography charges

U.S. Marshals arrested the former reality TV star in northwestern Arkansas on Thursday. The next day, the government unsealed a federal indictment charging Josh Duggar with downloading and possessing child pornography. He pleaded not guilty on Friday, and his attorneys said they planned to defend the cases “aggressively and thoroughly.” He has a detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday. The charges carry a sentence of up to two decades in prison and $250,000 in fines for each count.

Who is he? TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting featured the Duggar family, professing Christians who homeschooled their children, until the network pulled the show in 2015 over reports that Josh, the oldest son, had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter. Duggar has previously acknowledged pornography use and infidelity to his wife.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Leigh Jones’ report on the molestation scandal.

Rachel Lynn Aldrich Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.


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My Two Cents

The Duggars choose to live their life on public display. Josh has already admitted to abusing his sisters, cheating on his wife, and having an account with an online prostitution venue. His wife chose to take him back, which I fully supported, at least did not condemn. He is an adult who makes his own decisions. His wife married him, but by default, is also married to the entire family, because that’s how the Duggars work. Whether Josh is slapped with a restraining order remains to be seen, but I hope Anna is able to find a safe place to protect her children from being in the presence of their dad. I think the only way for her to do that is to break ties completely. I am a proponent of restoration, and I know Christ forgives sin and heals marriages, but Josh has never been at a point of complete brokenness. The only way for an alcoholic to break his addiction is to not touch alcohol in any way, shape, or form. And counseling. Josh will not be able to overcome his porn addiction surrounded by children, even if they are his own. Especially if they are his own.

OldMikeMy Two Cents

Appears you’ve already found Josh guilty. There is a possibility he is innocent, you know. In fact, legally, Josh, and anyone accused of a crime in our legal system, IS INNOCENT, until proven guilty. Unless you know and talk to Josh personally, and know something that hasn’t come out publicly, what you have said is way out of line. Actually, it would seem you have something against the whole family. From your first post, “really hope and pray Anna and her children can escape the Duggar stronghold and start a new life without them all.“

And by the way, your statement that “The only way for an alcoholic to break his addiction is to not touch alcohol in any way, shape, or form.” is incorrect. Personal experience of the Power of God to remove alcohol addiction.

My Two CentsMy Two Cents

Old Mike, I am not talking about a legal state of innocence until proven guilty. I am talking of morality. Josh has a history of cheating on his wife, an addiction to porn, and sexually assaulting his sisters. This is from his own admission. I prefer to err on the side of the children. Until he he cleared through a court of law, which could take months or years, I would choose to close any door of opportunity for him to bail out of prison and show up at his home or his parents’ home where many minor children reside. If it turns out he is as pure as the driven snow, I’ll not have any regrets about my opinion. Jesus was very clear about the penalty imposed on anyone who causes a little one to stumble. You are correct, that Christ can break the bonds of sin and addiction, whether alcohol or child porn, but there are still heavy consequences from those addictions. You can’t just carry on as if nothing happened. A recovered alcoholic knows better than to sip a little bit of booze, because he will fall off the wagon. A porn addict just doesn’t quit and everything is fine. If he repents, and Christ forgives him, we can be assured of his salvation, but while on earth, given his past history, he should not be around children. I won’t apologize for that.


I agree, this is a very sad thing. But I’ve got to say, the Duggars are pretty normal Christian people, aside from there being an unusual number of them. Not weirdos, not a cult. One of the Duggar daughter’s husband is my Pastor. I’ve been acquainted with the parents since before they married, although we don’t travel in the same circles.

The problems Josh has had are definitely not an indication of poor parenting, as I’ve seen much evidence over the years that Jim Bob and Michelle have been very diligent to raise their kids “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

I’ve known plenty of parents who seemed to be doing far better at raising their kids than most, yet one or more of their children strayed. I have to admit, for many years my own family was very disappointed by me.

Please don’t judge this whole family by one member’s sins.

Ann Marshall

This. is. horrifying. My heart breaks for his wife, praying she finds in the Lord her strength and shield.

My Two Cents

His wife announced just a few days before his arrest that they are expecting their 7th child. I wonder if he has abused his own children and wondered that at the time of the first scandal. Why did he plead not guilty, when he previously admitted an addiction to pornography? Who turned him in? I really hope and pray Anna and her children can escape the Duggar stronghold and start a new life without them all.

Salty1My Two Cents

It seems a little premature to be breaking up this family when we don’t know all the details. We should be praying that the truth is uncovered and that all sins are dealt with bringing healing to all involved.